Thursday, 11 July 2013

dukla [stasiuk]

Dukla has a lot in common with The Road to Babadag. There is an underlying theme which is the writer's repeated visits over the years to the same small town, Dukla, observing how it and himself have changed as the years pass by. But it is also a discursive, rambling treatise, that examines the nature of light, the relationship of light to place, the relationship of perceiving light to being human.

The book ends with a series of cameos about the  village which are almost Carveresque. But these also show why Stasiuk's writing is more effective when unfettered, free to roam. The shorter format appears to curb his instincts. It's the very process of getting lost with him, in his prose, which makes the experience of reading Stasiuk so rich. In comparison to Road to Babadag, Dukla is like a starter, an entree.

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